Writing up my thoughts on the Taylor Wessing exhibition & then reading comments from Clive & Dave made me think that it was time to ‘mock-up’ something from the one portrait session that I have managed to organise, more than a month ago now.
I came away a bit frustrated with myself because I didn’t manage to get things just right, from the technical point of view. I’m not going to dwell on the specifics too much here, however, I was shooting in a brightly lit motor garage but also felt I needed to use some flash and a wide aperture to avoid a slow shutter (and the noise that results if I start cranking up the ISO setting on the D80). I did have an assistant, as Clive suggests, and he was holding a large white reflector behind me to bounce the flash rather than have it direct onto the subject. The result isn’t a disaster by any means, but there is some very nasty shadow across the subject’s midriff (from light that did go direct) and the foreground is less in focus than I had intended. It’s usable but not up to the standard I would have liked.
However, I have added some text, which is what I have in mind for the final submission, and produced this version. I’ll need to give careful thought to font size & type in the final versions, and also think carefully about just how much text to include. I feel that it’s important to support the image with enough narrative to encourage the viewer to read it ‘correctly’ but I don’t want the text to take over. That’s one of the reasons I’ve produced this version now. I want to test the water, see what it looks/feels like, before doing the rest of the sessions. My initial reaction is that this amount of text could be a little too much, but I now have something to work with, at least.
(Incidentally, I’ve since experimented with firing the flash through a diffusing layer rather than bouncing it – more ‘soft box’ than ‘umbrella’ – and I think I can get better results that way, if I need to use flash again. Too late for this session though, unfortunately.)